He led them by a straight way. (Psalm 107:7)
The promise we have before us today should be a source of tremendous encouragement. Our Lord leads us by a straight way that is designed for our good and His glory. The straight way is the way of security . . . the way of sanctification . . . and the way of supernatural strength. But we must remember this truth: The straight way is not a soft way that leads us into a life of ease and comfort.
Our Lord Jesus knew nothing of the soft way of life. The straight way for Jesus was a way of difficulty and distress . . . sorrow and suffering . . . pain and persecution . . . affliction and abandonment . . . and ultimately death on a cruel Roman cross. The straight way promises to be a hard way for every disciple of Christ. As it was for the Master, so it will be for His followers.
“Remember the words I spoke to you,” Jesus said: “‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20).They gave our Lord a crown of thorns. Should we expect a crown of glory? May God forbid it!
Our God is loving and good, and He has promised that all things will ultimately work together for our good, so we can trust Him even when we cannot trace Him. Job could not trace the Lord in his life when he lost his health, his wealth, and all ten of his children, but he trusted God in spite of his unexplained and unimaginable circumstances. “Though He slay me,” Job said, “I will hope in Him” (Job 13:15).
God has assured us that every experience He takes us through is designed to conform us into the likeness of His beloved Son. He has not promised, however, that every experience will be pleasant or that it will be explained. We must remember that God’s ways are not our ways and that God has promised to complete the work He has begun in us. If we could only see what God sees in us today, we would receive every experience with great joy and thanksgiving.
How has the Lord been leading you lately? Remember, the straight way is designed to bring us to the end of ourselves. As John the Baptist said, we must decrease and He must increase. This does not happen when we are living a life of ease and comfort, traveling the soft, sunny path toward the Celestial City. It happens as God fashions us in the furnace of affliction and as we are hammered on the anvil of the Almighty, one strike at a time, as He shapes and conforms us into the perfect resemblance of Jesus.
Let us praise our God this day and every day that He leads us by a straight way, the way that makes us most like our Savior! In truth, we would never choose this way for ourselves.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!